How To Floss Your Back Teeth: Your Complete Guide

How To Floss Your Back Teeth: Your Complete Guide

If you’re brushing your teeth without flossing, you’re leaving the job half-finished! While brushing is a great way to remove plaque, tartar, food debris, and oral bacteria, it is not enough to completely clean your mouth on its own.

This is because a simple brushing cannot reach in-between the teeth. Flossing is the only way to remove plaque and bacteria from areas in between your gums and teeth. This is often a challenge for many patients, particularly when it comes to flossing your back teeth. Here are a few tips and tricks from the team at Honest Teeth that will make flossing your molars a bit easier:

Start With The Proper Length Of Dental Floss And Good Technique

Proper flossing technique is critical for cleaning your rear molars. To floss, you’ll want to dispense about 18-24 inches of dental floss from your container. Then, wrap the ends around your index and middle fingers.

Pull the floss between each of your teeth in a “sawing” motion to dislodge debris and clean the surface of the tooth. Need an example? This video from eHowhealth provides a great visual of proper flossing technique.

Use A Longer Piece Of Floss To Reach Your Back Teeth 

When it’s time to move onto your rear teeth, it can be helpful to use a slightly longer piece of floss. Unwind the floss from your fingers somewhat, so that you can use the longer length for more maneuverability. 

Consider A Floss Pick If You’re Having Trouble With Your Rear Teeth 

If you are having trouble flossing your back teeth due to issues with manual dexterity or a strong gag reflex, a floss pick may be a viable alternative to traditional floss.

Floss picks use a hard, plastic head with a piece of floss stretched between its two tips, and they have been proven to be nearly as effective as traditional floss at safeguarding the health of your gums, so they are a viable alternative if you are struggling with proper flossing technique.

A Water Flosser May Also Be A Good Option 

Water flossers, such as the widely-known WaterPik, have been proven to be very effective at removing plaque from the teeth. If you are having problems flossing your rear teeth with traditional dental floss or a floss pick, a water flosser may be a good option for you. 

Flossing Is Better Than Not Flossing, No Matter How You Do It! 

Whether you use traditional dental floss, floss picks, or even a water flosser like the WaterPik, the most important thing to do is floss regularly with your chosen product. Regular flossing along with proper brushing is the single best way to protect your oral health.

Have more questions about flossing? Contact us now to speak with our knowledgeable team or schedule an appointment with Dr. Meinerz or Dr. Krueger. Give us a call now at (262) 784-7770 to get started, or stop by our office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122.

5 Ways To Protect Your Children From Cavities

5 Ways To Protect Your Children From Cavities

According to the CDC, cavities are the single most common preventable childhood illness, and around 42% of children develop at least one cavity in their permanent teeth. At Honest Teeth, we want to make sure parents are well-informed and equipped with the knowledge they need to care for their child’s teeth and ensure that they remain cavity-free. Here are 5 ways to prevent cavities from developing in little teeth:

1. Encourage Proper Brushing and Flossing Habits

Your child should be brushing their teeth 2-3 times per day for at least 2 minutes. Ideally, they should brush once in the morning and once at night, at a minimum. Until your child is about 6 years old, or dexterous enough to tie their own shoes, you’ll have to brush their teeth for them.

In addition, flossing is also necessary to help prevent cavities. It can remove food debris and plaque that is not accessible with brushing. Floss your child’s teeth once per day until they can start flossing on their own, usually around the age of 10.

2. Watch Their Diet – Avoid Sugar, Acid, and Simple Carbohydrates

Sugary drinks and foods, like soda, juice, and candy are extremely bad for your child’s teeth. Oral bacteria feasts on the sugary residue which encourages acid growth. More acid equals more cavities! Simple carbohydrates, like starches from potato chips, can also encourage bacterial growth and lead to cavities. When possible, help your child to avoid sugary snacks and drinks, and encourage a fiber-rich diet with plenty of complex carbohydrates.  

3. Come to Honest Teeth for Six-Month Checkups

Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger at Honest Teeth will ensure that your child’s mouth is healthy. During routine checkups, our team will clean your child’s teeth thoroughly, eliminating plaque and tartar from hard-to-reach areas of their mouth. We’ll also check for signs of cavities and address any issues before they become bigger problems.

4. Consider Fluoride Treatment

At its most minor stage, tooth decay is reversible. This stage of tooth decay is called a “soft spot” and occurs when the enamel of the tooth starts to weaken but hasn’t completely formed a cavity yet.

A fluoride treatment is usually delivered after an oral exam and consists of a fluoride-rich gel that is painted onto your child’s teeth. Fluoride encourages weakened teeth to remineralize and become stronger, which can reverse minor tooth decay and prevent a cavity from forming.

5. Think About Dental Sealants

If your child is cavity-prone, dental sealants can help protect their teeth. Dental sealants consist of a special plastic resin that is painted onto your child’s rear molars, then hardened with a UV light. After it is hardened, the resin forms a protective barrier that prevents acid and bacteria from coming in direct contact with the treated teeth, preventing cavity formation for up to 10 years.

Keep Little Smiles Healthy – Come To Honest Teeth Today!

Whether you think your child may have a cavity, or you just need preventive care to ensure their mouth stays healthy, Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger of Honest Teeth are here to help. To get started and schedule an appointment, just contact us at (262) 784-7770, or stop by our office in Elm Grove at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122.

World Health Day: Dental Health and Your Overall Well-Being

World Health Day: Dental Health and Your Overall Well-Being

On April 7th, we celebrate World Health Day. Since its inception in 1950, the day has been used to create awareness and draw attention to specific issues that affect global health. At Honest Teeth, we feel honored to be a part of your healthcare routine.

The Top 4 Signs A Dental Implant Is Right For You

The Top 4 Signs A Dental Implant Is Right For You

If you’re missing one or more teeth in Elm Grove, you may be wondering if a dental implant is right for you, or if an alternative treatment like a dental bridge or a partial denture is the best choice. If you’re missing teeth, the team at Honest Teeth wants you to be well-informed about when implants are the best restorative option. Here are a few signs that implants might be your best choice:

1. You’re Willing To Invest In A Long-Term Solution For Your Missing Tooth

Dental implants are an investment in your oral health. And, unlike partial dentures and dental bridges, they are not usually covered by insurance, although some dental plans will pay a certain percentage of the cost.

However, though the up-front cost of implants is often more than other restorative alternatives, they are definitely worth it in the long run. Implants will prevent future dental issues like teeth shifting and bone/gum tissue loss.

Not only that, a dental implant can last up to 30 years or longer. Dentures often must be replaced every 5-10 years, and the same is true of bridges, so a dental implant ends up being a better long-term choice, and can actually be cheaper in the long run.

2. Your Mouth Is Healthy (And You’re Keeping It That Way)

If you have gum disease, multiple infected or decayed teeth, or other oral health issues, you can’t get a dental implant until you’ve dealt with these issues.

Dental implants are only a good choice for you if your mouth is healthy, and you plan on taking care of it properly for the rest of your life. That means proper brushing and flossing, and regular visits to Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger for oral exams and teeth cleanings.

3. Your Jaw Bone Is Healthy And You Want To Preserve It

When you lose a tooth, the jaw bone underneath the empty socket tends to shrink and become weak, because it’s not being supported by the root of the tooth. A dental implant helps support and preserve your jaw bone, which helps you keep your mouth and jaw healthy and strong.

If you’ve been missing a tooth for several years, the bone underneath your jaw may have already deteriorated. However, you can undergo a bone graft or sinus lift to strengthen it, in most cases, so you can still have an implant placed and preserve your remaining bone.

4. You’re Ready To Commit Several Months To The Process

Even a basic dental implant will take about 3-6 months to heal completely. If you need a tooth to be extracted, or require a sinus lift or bone graft, it could take a year or longer for the entire procedure to be completed. You’ll need to be patient, but the beautiful, long-lasting results are definitely worth the wait.

Contact Us For Dental Implants In Elm Grove Today!

If you’re thinking about getting a dental implant in Elm Grove, Dr. Krueger and Dr. Meinerz are here to help. With years of experience in implant dentistry, our team can help you restore your smile and gain confidence. To get started, contact us now at (262) 784-7770, or come to our new office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122 for an in-person visit.

Keeping Your Smile Bright and White After Teeth Whitening: Our Top 5 Tips

Keeping Your Smile Bright and White After Teeth Whitening: Our Top 5 Tips

If you’ve recently had your teeth whitened at Honest Teeth. Dr. Meinerz and Dr. Krueger want to keep your teeth pearly white for as long as you can! How can you make sure that your smile stays bright and beautiful for months and years to come? Here are some of our best tips for keeping your smile flawless after you’ve had your teeth whitened:

1. Brush And Floss Properly

Start with the basics! Brushing and flossing helps remove plaque and tartar buildup from your teeth. This buildup can make your teeth look darker, so it must be removed to preserve your smile. Make sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes, and floss once per day.

You may also want to consider using a whitening toothpaste to help maintain your fresh, white teeth. Dr. Meinerz or Dr. Krueger can give you a recommendation for the best whitening toothpaste for your particular needs.

2. Never Smoke Or Use Tobacco Products

Quit smoking and using tobacco before having your teeth whitened. Tobacco use stains your teeth and turns them brown and yellow very quickly. If you have your teeth professionally whitened and use tobacco products afterward, your teeth will become stained again in months. Your teeth could eventually become permanently stained, and not even tooth whitening will help.

3. Consume Staining Food And Beverages In Moderation

Many dark-colored foods like blueberries, as well as beverages like tea, coffee and wine can stain your teeth. Drink or consume these in moderation and use mouthwash or brush your teeth afterward, to avoid staining. You could also consider drinking these beverages through a straw, which helps you avoid contact with your teeth, and prevents stains from forming.

4. Consider Using Whitening Mouthwash

Mouthwash is very convenient for cleaning your mouth when you can’t access your toothbrush. Keeping a little bottle of mouthwash in your desk at work, or in your car can allow you to rinse away food debris and potential staining agents. Further still, a whitening mouthwash can help keep your teeth looking great, and mitigate minor stains.

5. Never Skip Your 6-Month Teeth Cleanings And Oral Exams

At your regular oral hygiene appointment, one of our hygienists will buff and clean your teeth, keeping them bright and ensuring that they are free of plaque and tartar. In addition, Dr. Krueger or Dr. Meinerz can ensure that your teeth are healthy, and may even recommend a touch-up whitening treatment, to keep your smile looking great.

Contact Us Today For Teeth Whitening In Elm Grove

Whether you’ve already had teeth whitening treatment and you simply need a touch-up, or your teeth are stained and you’re interested in learning more about your cosmetic dentistry options in Elm Grove, Honest Teeth can help. Contact us now at (262) 784-7770 to schedule a cosmetic consultation, or feel free to come by our new office at 15255 Watertown Plank Road, Suite 100, Elm Grove, WI 53122. We’ll see you soon.